BREAKING NEWS: Homicide Charges in Baltimore

scales_of_justice1submitted by Gene Howington

The Huffington Post is reporting the following:

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby gave an update on the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody in April, calling his death a homicide.

“We have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Mosby said in a press conference Friday.

Charges including second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault, among others, will be filed against the officers involved in Gray’s arrest, Mosby said. [. . .]

Mosby noted that “no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray.” Police had said Gray was arrested for possessing a switchblade, but Mosby said Friday the knife in Gray’s possession was not a switchblade and was lawful, and said officers “illegally arrested” Gray.

“We are very much committed to pursuing justice,” Mosby said.

Mosby went into detail about Gray’s arrest, noting he was not secured by a seatbelt while traveling in a police van after his arrest. Investigators found Gray suffered an injury in the van that ultimately led to his death. Mosby also noted Gray told police he couldn’t breathe “at least twice” as he was taken into custody and requested a medic, which officers did not provide.

Mosby also noted officers were “willfully negligent” when they stopped the police van Gray was riding in to pick up another suspect despite Gray’s pleas for medical help. Mosby said Gray was “no longer breathing” when removed from the police van.

Mosby said her office’s conclusions about Gray’s arrest came from information obtained both by Baltimore police and through an independent investigation conducted by her office.

Mosby addressed the protesters who’ve been calling for accountability in Gray’s death.

“Accountability… you’re getting it today,” she said.

More on this as the story develops . . .

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19 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Homicide Charges in Baltimore

  1. What The Guardian is reporting at this time . . .

  2. Slartibartfast says:

    Let’s hope that this provides both the appearance and the substance of unbiased justice and due process that was sorely absent in Ferguson.

  3. bettykath says:

  4. bettykath says:

    http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/04/police-just-arrested-man-who-filmed-the-freddie-gray-arrest/

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/30/1381400/-A-complete-takedown-of-the-lies-spread-by-the-Baltimore-Police-Washington-Post-on-Freddie-Gray#

    1. Gray was CLEARLY injured before he was placed in the back of the police van. [video at link]

    2. It took the police nearly 38 minutes to get him to the police station, but it’s only a two-minute drive away.

    3. The Baltimore police’s leak to the Washington Post that Gray injured himself in the van and that another suspect heard him doing it is not supported by the facts. A full six days earlier, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts claimed that the second suspect said Gray was quiet in the back of the van. [Interview with the “other suspect” indicates that he didn’t say anything like this. Cops are trying to cya.]

  5. Mike Spindell says:

    So a man who never should have been arrested died while within police custody. Gray was arrested for bring Black, just as he was stopped for being Black. The officers involved in this case were operating under a system where such police behavior was not only permissible, but actually expected. In some sense they are victims themselves under this American system of genocide against people of color, since in their milieu their behavior was acceptable, until it now isn’t. Even though I can understand their “victimhood”, I hope they each get punished criminally in as harsh a manner as legally permitted. Each excuse police ave had for obviously bad behavior in recent years has found the officers involved blameless. The only way this is going to stop is to have them face the consequences of their bad actions. The NAZI’s being prosecuted justification was famously “I was only following orders”, or common practice under Hitler. It was no excuse and many of them deserved worse punishment than was meted out. We cannot allow American police the same excuse, or we just give them permission to act like NAZI thugs.

  6. bettykath says:

    Turns out there have been other spinal injuries, resulting in paralysis rather than death, while in police custody. The city has paid out millions in those cases.

  7. re Mike’s comment — “Genocide” is indeed the right word.

  8. Blogger “Brainwrap” has an update with a response from the FOP.

    Really?

    Talk about mental gymnastics and dissembling, This takes the cake.

    I think it was originally Pliny the Elder who said sometimes it is better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove doubt.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/01/1381803/-BY-REQUEST-Baltimore-FOP-channels-their-inner-Frank-Nitti

  9. Or as Jon Lovitz character on SNL used to say, “Yeah . . . that’s the ticket!”

  10. Elaine M. says:

    Man Who Filmed Freddie Gray Reportedly Arrested Under Suspicious Circumstances
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/05/01/3653674/man-filmed-freddie-gray-reportedly-arrested-suspicious-circumstances/

    Excerpt:
    Kevin Moore, the man who filmed police arresting Freddie Gray and dragging him on the ground was arrested on Thursday night, along with two other cop watchers from Ferguson.

    “The man who recorded one of two videos showing Baltimore cops dragging a screaming Freddie Gray into the back of a police van was arrested Thursday night, two days after voicing concerns that police were trying to intimidate him by plastering his photo all over the news, saying they wanted to interview him,” reads a We CopWatch Facebook post. After the incident occurred, We CopWatch tweeted that a gun was pointed at Moore.

    Shortly after his release, Moore detailed the events leading up to his arrest, in a webcast discussion with Photography Is Not a Crime’s Carlos Miller. Moore says he was protesting with Ferguson cop watchers on North Avenue, shouting obscenities and wearing an Anonymous mask. Once the group left, officers arrested them without issuing a citation or explaining what the charges were. He was released later that night.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Megyn Kelly lets anonymous cop call Freddie Gray a snitch and ‘guess’ that drugs caused arrest
    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/megyn-kelly-lets-anonymous-cop-call-freddie-gray-a-snitch-and-guess-that-drugs-caused-arrest/

    Excerpt:
    Fox News’ Megyn Kelly protected the identity of a guest claiming to be a Baltimore police officer who then smeared 25-year-old Freddie Gray — the unarmed black man whose death touched off the latest round of protests regarding police use of force — by painting him as a “snitch” for the department.

    The guest also said he “guessed” that Gray was taken in for dealing drugs, even though police officially issued him a summons for possessing a switchblade — which turned out to be a knife that Gray was allowed to carry under state law.

    “Freddie was one of those ones where a lot of times, he would put on that show in the streets, but you would bring him into the station and he was a great witness,” the officer said. “I mean, he helped the department solve many crimes and different acts of violence. So it wasn’t uncommon for Freddie to do that type of thing and then go into the station.”

    Kelly said the officer, who went by the pseudonym “Mike,” had asked for his identity to be concealed out of concern for his safety. But instead of challenging the officer for his uncorroborated claims just hours after six of his fellow officers were indicted in connection with Gray’s death, she responded, “That’s interesting. That’s new information I had not yet heard.”

  12. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that all officers charged in this indictment are out on bond. Their bond was set lower than protesters who were arrested.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-what-is-next-for-officers-20150501-story.html

    I really don’t even know what to say.

  13. bettykath says:

    c’mon, Chuck, killing a n…… ain’t nearly so bad as objectin’ to the killin’. Jim Crow sez so. Don’t know what the fuss is all about.

    Another secret grand jury planned. Here we go again.

  14. Mike Spindell says:

    One of the major issues that arise when police killings such as these arrives in the disincentive that localities are faced with to actually have police convicted for crimes against citizens. In he liability cases that would follow conviction the municipality, or State would be opened to far greater damages. With prosecutors part and parcel of the political system that is in power, there is a financial disincentive to bring these charges and convict. This exists before we even get into the system of institutional racism that exists.

  15. “there is a financial disincentive to bring these charges and convict.”

    Potential liability is simply a cost of operation for both government and business and what insurance and bonds are designed to mitigate. I have little sympathy for the financial argument when applied to avoid justice. If you want to avoid liability? Do the job right in the first place. But avoiding responsibility and culpability of bad actors to save a dime at the cost of justice and the integrity of the system itself is both personally politically selfish and ultimately self-defeating when administering a system of justice. If your system of justice become manifestly unjust, you invite strife and civil unrest, creating a negative feedback loop which destabilizes the system as a whole. This is in part why I think those who violate a public trust should as a matter of due course have the book thrown at them instead of the slap on the wrist so often seen. You do not fix systemic error by having little or no consequence for deliberate induced error. You in fact encourage further and greater error that way. Enough error in any system will break it. That is just the math (sorry, Larry!).

  16. This is just SICK!!!

    I agree with you @Chuck Stanley , I also don’t know what to say.

  17. Gene, you are absolutely right.

    When people know that they will not face real consequences,
    they will act out more often, as we have been seeing with Cops
    more and more.

  18. blouise says:

    We need to apply the “Broken Window” policy to the Police.

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